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                                          Book of the Week

Misogyny Re-loaded

by Abigail Bray

Only 23 per cent of sexual offences reported to police get to court, according to the Victorian Crime Statistics Agency. United Nations statistics put the rate of rape in Australia at about twice the international average. We have a dreadful problem. There is a pressing need to change the legal system; victims are terrified of reliving their trauma in prolonged court proceedings that submit them to brutal questioning and to sharing space with the alleged perpetrators of such heinous violence.
–Editorial The Age

Chapter 3 of Misogyny Re-loaded tackles the crime that is rape. Rape becomes Lulz with a quote:
A world without rapists would be a world in which women moved freely without fear of men. That some men rape provides a sufficient threat to keep all women in a constant state of intimidation, forever conscious of the knowledge that the biological tool must be held in awe, for it may turn to weapon with sudden swiftness born
of harmful intent …
—Susan Brownmiller, Against Our Will: Men, Women and Rape
(1975, p. 15)

Abigail Bray confronts our 'rape culture' and writes about how this culture consists of rape jokes on t-shirts and rape jokes in newspapers and on radio and TV. 'T-shirts emblazoned with pro-rape jokes are supposed to be 'funny'. One is expected to laugh at computer games where women are raped and slaughtered.' This 'rape as slapstick' is regarded by many as ' subversive', and 'edgy', 'oppositional and counter-cultural.'
We do indeed have a 'dreadful problem.'

Bray provides reports that the majority of victims of rape do not report the crime and the majority of rapists remain at large. She quotes an article published in The Independent reporting that '100,000 assaults, 1000 rapists sentenced'. Understandably many victims don't report and many who do find the trial process too traumatic to continue. The Age has a story of a 14 year old girl who was allegedly raped in the Geelong suburb of St Albans Park who found the challenge of the trial too much for her to bear.

Misogyny Re-loaded is an explosive manifesto against the resurgent sexual fascism of the new world order. By exposing the casual acceptance of snuff pornography in ‘gore’ culture through to the framing of rape as slapstick, Abigail Bray links the celebration of sexual sadism to the rise of an authoritarian culture of militarised violence.

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